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K3.2 billion water project commissioned in Rumphi

POTABLE—Ntchenachena, one of the five gravity-fed schemes in Rumphi and (inset) Movete—Picture by Feston Malekezo

Access to clean and potable water is expected to improve in Rumphi District following the completion of a K3.2 billion water project.

The project called Sustainable Rural Water Infrastructure for Improved Health and Livelihoods (SRWSIHL) has connected 750 water taps and also facilitated the construction of 88 boreholes to serve 107, 800 people.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Deputy Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Phideria Moyo, expressed hope that the project will help reduce incidences of water borne diseases in the district.

“We all know that water is life and everything that happens around people’s lives revolves around water. So the moment people are accessing safe and potable water, it means the incidences of water borne diseases will be reduced and that will contribute to economic growth. People will have more time to work in the field rather than spending time going to the hospital with diseases that could have been avoided such as cholera,” Moyo said.

In his remarks, Traditional Authority Mwahenga, hailed the project saying it will reduce distances his subjects were travelling to access water.

Meanwhile, Rumphi District Commissioner, Fred Movete, has bemoaned some settlement patterns in the district saying some areas are hard to be reached with gravity-fed water supply and the borehole drilling hence exposing them to unsafe water sources.

“The challenge really is our settlement patterns in Malawi because communities choose to settle in any area they feel like settling. We cannot extend the gravity-fed scheme which is around Mlowe because it is a bit far, at the same time we cannot take drilling machines to Tchalo; it will be a mammoth task. So what we are doing is for those communities which have settled in such places we have explored the possibility of sinking shallow wells so that at least they should have access to potable water,” Movete said.

According to SRWSIHL Project Coordinator, Kondwani Msowoya, the project is targeting about 525, 000 people in all the five districts of Rumphi, Nkhotakota, Mangochi, Ntcheu and Ph;alombe.

The project started in 2014 and is being financed by the African Development Fund, Nigerian Trust Fund, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative Trust Fund and the Government of Malawi.

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